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The importance of Lean Meat Yield: The value it creates in the supply chain and the importance of better feedback to farmers

Gardner, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986, Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 and Anderson, F. (2012) The importance of Lean Meat Yield: The value it creates in the supply chain and the importance of better feedback to farmers. In: Proceeding of the LambEx 2012 Conference, 28 - 29 June, Bendigo, Vic, Australia pp. 47-49.

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Lean meat yield is a key efficiency and profit driver throughout the supply chain. Lamb is sold in lower yielding formats at a retail level (ie more bone and fat) compared to beef, pork and chicken and is typically more expensive, especially when compared on a $/kg lean at retail (Pethick, Ball et al. 2010). High yielding carcases deliver cuts that have a better shape and ensure retailers do not have to present products of overly fat animals for display and sale. For processors a high yielding animal represents increased efficiency in the boning room. These carcases require less labour to trim fat and there is less carcase wastage. For producers, higher yielding animals can be finished to heavier weights without becoming overly fat and accruing penalties. Additionally, fast growing, high yielding animals can be finished either faster or to heavier weights, in a shorter period of time, offering the producer savings on feed costs.

The challenge is to produce a fast growing lamb that can be turned off quickly, that are of favourable conformation, and also gives a satisfactory return to the producer. It is increasingly important that price signals reflect not just more carcase as it may represent increasing amounts of fat. With continued evolution of the payment scheme of lamb there is the potential to improve profitability through the use of genetic selection for increased yield.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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